Domestic violence hits record in 2006

Kyodo News

Police nationwide were informed of 18,236 instances of domestic violence last year, up 8 percent from the year before and the highest figure on record, for which the National Police Agency started keeping in 2002, the NPA said Thursday.

The agency attributed the increase to growing public attention to the problem since recent legislation against domestic violence has encouraged women, who previously tended not to complain, to take the advice of or report abuses to police.

The number of protection orders issued by courts for victims under the domestic violence prevention law rose 3 percent to 2,247, the agency said. Of those cases, police charged 53 with violating the order, down by 20 from the year before.

Police also were informed of 1,525 instances of domestic violence under other laws, including 908 cases of injury, 351 cases of assault and 62 cases of murder.

Of the victims, 99 percent were women. By age bracket, 38 percent were in their 30s, 22 percent in their 20s and 20 percent in their 40s.

As for batterers, 34 percent were in their 30s, 24 percent in their 40s and 16 percent in their 20s.